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KEY TAKEAWAYS

• Recently, Puneet Kaur Dhanda filed a PIL in Supreme Court intending to conduct fair elections in West Bengal.

• Few concerns were raised by her in the PIL explaining exploitation over Workers and Leaders of other Political Parties.

• She also discussed the working of fake voters and requested to initiate a CBI enquiry on the same.

INTRODUCTION

"It's not impossible to hold free and fair elections, but it's going to be very dicey." -Schneider

As 2021 West Bengal Legislative Assembly election are approaching, a PIL has been filed in the Apex court in hunt of conducting "free and fair" elections in the state of West Bengal. The PIL was filed on behalf of petitioner Puneet Kaur Dhanda, which seeks issuing of directions to the Election Commission of India to submit a detailed report regarding fake voters in the State of West Bengal also to direct the Election Commission to take appropriate action in the removal of "fake voters" from the voters' list.

MATTER OF CONCERN

The PIL has contended that in districts like Murshidabad, Malda, Uttar Dinajpur, Birbhum, South 24 Pargana, Nadia, Haora, Koch Bihar, North 24 Pargana, Dakshin Dinajpur, Kolkata, Hindu’s are not allowed to vote and the votes are cast on their behalf by fake voters. As the Muslim population is in majority in these areas which creates an obstruction when Hindu voters move out to cast their votes.

The plea also claimed that activities such as murdering the leaders of the opposition party as well as the workers has been done. It has requested that the CBI must issue directions to conduct a detailed investigation in the cases dealing with deaths of opposition party workers and leaders.

It was also stated that there has been a continuous violation of fundamental rights, statutory rights and human rights in the State of West Bengal, and now the cases have reached its peak. It was stated under PIL that State government and its police mechanism are involved in such violations, till now no steps has been taken to prevent such violation of fundamental, statutory and human rights is being taken by the State government rather it is the State government and its roots which is responsible for such ruthless violation of rights over leaders and workers of opposition in the State of West Bengal.

The presently ruling party Trinamool Congress has been using its power to prevent action against those destroyers as no seriousness has been shown by the State Government in preventing the systematic killings of the political leaders. The police administration has also become helpless at the instructions of the government as a result of which killings of opposition political party leaders is rising in the State. The State government is completely ignoring these cases of unfair election practices and showing zero concerns over the chaos rising in the State.

DEMANDS HIGHLIGHTED IN PLEA

The petitioner while referring to the alleged attacks on vehicles of BJP leaders JP Nadda and Kailash Vijayvargiya's in Bengal as the two leaders were on their way to Diamond Harbour on Thursday to meet party workers for the Bengal elections in 2021 reported that protesters gathered on the streets and attempted to block the road to stop Nadda's convoy from passing.

In this context, the plea states have sought directions for a free, peaceful and safe election in the state. Along with, the PIL has also sought that the Union of India ensure the safety of party workers belonging to opposition parties in the as well as submit a detailed report regarding action taken viz. case status in killings of opposition party leaders, especially for those belonging to BJP.
Additionally, it is prayed that in case there is any dereliction of duty by senior officers in the protection of BJP Party president who was attacked in West Bengal in the state, strict action should be taken against them.

It was stated in PIL that in the past few years there have been incidents of systematic killings of political leaders including women especially belonging to BJP and leaders associated with the political party. The governing party TMC (Trinamool Congress) has not done anything to stop the pitiless violence against the leaders of political parties especially connected with BJP and other political parties who are not in power.

There have been incidents at various parts of West Bengal where the politicians of other than the ruling party have been systematically targeted with physical violence for vested reasons and the State Government has kept soft on the violence against the political leaders especially Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) as it is only BJP which is seen as a threat by the ruling party mainly because of the rising fame of the BJP party in the State of West Bengal.

CONCLUSION

Eventually, after briefing about the happenings in the state which is leading towards unfair elections in West Bengal, the plea requested to:

1. Issue appropriate writ or direction to the Director, CBI to conduct a detailed investigation in the cases involving killings of opposition party workers and leaders in the state of West Bengal, if the report submitted by DGP, West Bengal not found satisfactory to this Hon'ble Court.

2. Issue an appropriate writ or order or direction to the Union Home Secretary to ensure proper security in assembly elections of West Bengal by the deployment of paramilitary forces in the state to ensure free and fair elections in the state.


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